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Stiliyana Nikolova brought the first medal for Bulgaria from the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships in Sofia. The 17-year-old Bulgarian, who is a debutante at such a forum, won a silver medal in the hoop final.
The last medal for Bulgaria in hoop was Simona Peycheva from the World Championships in Madrid 2001, when due to a doping scandal the medals of Alina Kabaeva and Irina Chashchina were taken away and the Bulgarian took gold in hoop.
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Nikolova played a great combination and received a score of 33.400 points.
Sofia Raffaelli from Italy became the world hoop champion with 34,850 points, and Daria Varfolomeev (Germany) came third with 32,150 points.
On Thursday, the competition continues with the club and ribbon qualifications. Group D, in which the Bulgarian is, starts at 14:45.
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“I’m happy for this medal. Yes, the hoop went better in the qualifiers than in the final. But I also have Saturday, God willing,” Nikolova said.
“I was very disappointed when I found out that Bubeto (b.b. Boryana Kalein) will not play. We are one team and one team. It’s harder to play alone than to know you have someone behind you. I wish her a speedy recovery,” she added.
“That wasn’t the reason for me losing concentration on the ball, it was other things. It’s very exciting mostly because of the audience. Thank you very much for coming. I hope the other days will come.”
“We’ve been doing simulated training and it doesn’t give me that impression (that the qualifiers and the finals are on the same day). It’s not that often for me. Before every combination, I felt the thrill and excitement,” said Nikolova.